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MEPs say COVID-19 highlights EU weaknesses

Jerome Hughes
Press TV, Brussels

European Union lawmakers demand governments in the 27-nation bloc make healthcare cooperation, a number-one priority in light of the many failings exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With two COVID-19 vaccines almost certainly on the way, members of the European Parliament, MEPs, are expressing hope. However some of the EU legislators remain sceptical. Trust is a big issue, they say. One MEP highlights how Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla last week sold $5.6 million worth of shares he had in the firm shortly after announcing the pharmaceutical had developed a vaccine. 

During an online debate, coordinated from the European Parliament, Brussels, lawmakers raised concerns about EU hospitals being unable to cope, medication shortages and the ability of EU nations to distribute a vaccine in a coordinated fashion. 

As millions of people across the EU endure a second lockdown, legislators are concerned that domestic violence is again on the rise. Experts confirm it is a problem throughout every EU member state. 

Lawmakers were urged, during the debate, to support proposals put forward by the European Commission last week to establish an 'EU Health Union' so that the bloc can be better prepared for the next crisis.

In the wake of the 2008 economic crash, the EU began working on a 'Banking Union'. That process is still in train. It's an EU policy area that provides little confidence a so-called 'Health Union' can be established any time soon.

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